My guest today is American poet and author Lynda Lambert who shares what is in her briefcase and purse, her fashion sense, a book close to her heart and dreams.
About Lynda Lambert
Lynda Lambert (b.1943) was born in Ellwood City,PA Her academic training is in Fine Arts and Literature. She was a professor of Fine Arts and Humanities until 2007 when her teaching career was cut short suddenly due to sight loss. Her art has been exhibited world wide since 1976.
Her first book _Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage_ is a collection of essays, poems, and drawings she did over a 10 year period while teaching in Salzburg, Austria
Lynda McKinney Lambert lost much of her sight in the fall of 2007, cue to Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. She retired from teaching full-time a year later.
She writes and makes mixed-media fiber art full-time. She uses adaptive technologies for the blind to do her award-winning work. Lynda was determined to return to a creative life-style after her sudden sight loss. She went to live in a residency program for the blind for 3 months of intensive training. She attended the Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services program in Pittsburgh, PA. in the spring of 2008.
Lynda enjoys daily walks with her husband and their 2 rescued dogs. They also have 2 cats and the couple care for a variety of feral cats that find food and a safe haven at their home. The couple have 5 great grandchildren, and 2 of them live just across the creek from their home.
Lynda with her great granddaughter, Bella who was in a school musical last fall.
Welcome Lynda and the first question is…How would you describe your fashion sense?
I described my fashion sense in a poem that’s in my latest book, Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems.” The poem is “Adornment.” The poem was inspired by a friend who once told me, “I want to wear all of my jewelry at one time. I want to adorn myself with it all.” When I wrote the poem, it was a mixture of her sentiments, combined with my own passion for finely crafted accessories – hats, shoes, handbags, scarves, jewelry. I buy wearable artist-made works or high-end designer creations.
Here Lynda at the convention of the American Printing House for the Blind. Receiving an award by the president of American Printing House for the Blind for First Place in the exhibition InSights17. And I think this perfectly reflects her fashion sense.
Knowing now, what you didn’t know then, what would you have done differently?
As a teenage girl in rural western Pennsylvania, I had a subscription to Harper’s Bazaar. I knew the name of every model and designer. This magazine was my dream world – I lived in it!
In my 40’s, I lived briefly in California where I worked evenings and weekends for Neiman Marcus. It is my single most memorable work experience. I was in heaven, for I loved high-end sales more than anything I ever did in my life. But, at that time, I was in the process of completing my 3rd degree and had to return to campus in PA to finish that. I had only 1 semester left to finish the MA in English, or, lose the 5-year period of work I completed for the degree. I’ve always wished I could have remained at NM for my entire career, but I was committed to completing my final academic goal.
What are the five things that you would always find in your handbag or briefcase?
During my final year of intense work on the rigorous MFA degree in Painting at West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV) I was a strange sight. Why? I knew I needed to start presenting a professional appearance in preparation for achieving my Plan A goal of becoming a professor. I quit carrying a back pack and purchased a handsome burgundy leather brief case.
After the MFA, I became Executive Director of a regional art. However, Plan A was to become a professor, so I was never satisfied
Plan A did become my reality when I accepted a tenure track position. I was professor of fine arts and humanities at a private college in Pennsylvania, until my retirement in 2008. This provided me with time to pursue my writing and art exhibitions world-wide.
Now, as a retired woman, I carry a variety of handbags that hold my wallet; lipstick which is a necessity; a little leather case I bought in Venice, that holds my house keys; my Betsy Johnson colorful sunglasses; 2 Visa cards.
Describe the strangest dream you’ve ever had.
I am a dreamer of everything irrational. I barely close my eyes and I am deep into a netherworld. I do not have pleasant dreams, usually. The most pleasant dreams I have, though, are when I am flying – I am untethered and free in flight.
My dreams are full of danger, drama, and situations that are terrifying and with no way of escape. I seldom have a dream that I would want to return to. Sleeping has never been a pleasure for me. I have severe sleep apnea and even with a c-pap, I am up all during the night. I usually work during the night, from 3-5 am since I cannot sleep. I don’t nap very often, for I have the same sort of absurd dreams.
Here is a link to a poem I wrote about my dreams. You can hear me reading it on this recording: http://www.lyndalambert.com/dreams-who-needs-them/
What is your all-time favorite book that you have read? And why?
My favorite book would be Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. (Link is included below) I also have a study guide for it – but I never taught this book in a classroom when I was teaching.
I read it for the first time in the early 1980s. I entered into a mythological world that enchanted me completely. The story consumed me. The book is a re-telling of the Greek myth of Psyche and Eros. This story is one of my favorites along with the story of Persephone; also, of Eurydice and Orpheus – Greek mythology and other early writings are influences in my own writing and often set the historical context of my poems and essays. I like to go back to primary sources and trace down the time and place where an idea begins. Historical context is very important to me – for the credibility and deep meaning of ideas. They all have roots somewhere, and I try to locate them. (Lynda McKinney Lambert)
Link to information on these myths:: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus_and_Eurydice
Books by Lynda McKinney Lambert
About Walking by Inner Vision
In this second collection, Pennsylvania artist, teacher, and author Lynda McKinney Lambert invites readers into her world of profound sight loss to discover the subtle nuances and beauty of a physical and spiritual world.
She takes strands from ancient mythology, history, and contemporary life and weaves a richly textured new fabric using images that are seen and unseen as she takes us on a year-long journey through the seasons.
All stories in this book were created after her sudden sight loss in 2007 from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy. Lambert invites us to see the world with new eyes.
One of the reviews for the book
Lynda fills this book with encouraging stories about things she loves including art, her beloved family, knitting, and poetry. Knowing she’s legally blind and accomplishing so much makes me really respect her as an author. She is living her life to the fullest no matter what! My favorite chapter is “The Living Room”, which focuses upon her sweet mother holding tightly onto family, memories, and Christmas traditions.
Also by Lynda McKinney Lambert
Discover more about Lynda’s books: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC
And Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lynda-McKinney-Lambert/e/B003960PUC
Connect to Lynda
I will leave you with this lovely photograph of Lynda and her husband and a temporary house guest who know lives with their daughter. I now Lynda would love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by. Sally